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Richardson eying freshly-vacated state Senate seat

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Former Georgia House Speaker Glenn RichardsonThe former Georgia House speaker who resigned in 2009 amid a withering sex and ethics scandal is allegedly eying a return to the Gold Dome, Republican sources confirmed Friday.

Glenn Richardson orchestrated one of the Georgia’s greatest legislative coups in 2004 to become the state’s first GOP speaker since Reconstruction. But his fall from grace six years later was no less sensational, the family-values lawmaker bookending an unsavory sexual drama with an attempted suicide.

Richardson, sources say, began laying the foundation for a rebound bid after word began spreading Friday that Governor Nathan Deal would appoint state Sen. Will Hamrick to the superior court bench.

A special primary election will be held for Nov. 6, the day of the general election, though the Carrollton seat is likely to draw a handful Republican suitors beyond the former speaker.

Among the other possible contenders: Rep. Bill Hembree, who would have considerable skin in the game should he pursue the vacancy. The Winston Republican lawmaker would need to resign his House seat almost immediately, within in the next three weeks, to allow for a special election, lest he forfeit his current race to Democratic challenger Leigh McMutry.

- James Richardson

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